Columbus police are trying to find out who splattered red paint across the sign for Planned Parenthood along North National Road on Tuesday morning.
The red paint still was slightly wet when employees of Planned Parenthood and Orthotic & Prosthetic Designs, located next door, arrived to find the paint splashed across the sign. The paint also was on the sidewalk and the railing in front of the orthotic office.
Julie Kean, owner of the orthotic office, said the paint was not water-soluble and employees weren’t able to get it off the sidewalk or railing despite continued scrubbing.
The three offices in the complex on Sycamore Court facing National Road do not have security cameras, but do have lighting in the front, Kean said.
A Planned Parenthood representative in Columbus declined to comment. Unlike some of its offices, the Columbus Planned Parenthood location does not provide abortion services, said Ali Slocum, Planned Parenthood communications and marketing director.
Planned Parenthood is working with local authorities and its insurance company to assess the damage, but was seeing patients as usual on Tuesday.
“Our doors are open and will stay open,” Slocum said.
Planned Parenthood has been offering reproductive health services in Columbus since 1975 and has been at its current location since 1993, Slocum said.
All the businesses nearby also were operating as usual as the cleanup continued, Kean said.
Kean said she believes the paint vandalism was a political statement, unrelated to Halloween.
Columbus police have not seen any noticeable jump in vandalism calls related to Halloween, but some of the usual damage to parks bathrooms and other public facilities is being reported, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.
Harris said the police department is not aware of any recent threats or issues directed at Planned Parenthood.
Rather than vandalism, the police department has been dealing with an uptick in thefts from unlocked vehicles, Harris said. He reminded residents to refrain from leaving valuables in their vehicles and reminded them to lock their vehicles overnight.